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Sandhill People

 I TOOK away three pictures.
One was a white gull forming a half-mile arch from the pines toward Waukegan.
One was a whistle in the little sandhills, a bird crying either to the sunset gone or the dusk come.
One was three spotted waterbirds, zigzagging, cutting scrolls and jags, writing a bird Sanscrit of wing points, half over the sand, half over the water, a half-love for the sea, a half-love for the land.
I took away three thoughts.
One was a thing my people call “love,” a shut-in river hunting the sea, breaking white falls between tall clefs of hill country.
One was a thing my people call “silence,” the wind running over the butter faced sand-flowers, running over the sea, and never heard of again.
One was a thing my people call “death,” neither a whistle in the little sandhills, nor a bird Sanscrit of wing points, yet a coat all the stars and seas have worn, yet a face the beach wears between sunset and dusk.

by Carl Sandburg
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